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Under the Microscope

A guy goes in for his oral interview in Berkeley, Calif.  He has education, experience, and he's ready to knock 'em dead.  They asked him to tell them about a stressful situation he'd been in at work, and how he handled it.  Well this guy has been on a C.D.F. hele- attack hotshot crew.  He tells them about this grass fire he went to, where the capt's on scene were messing everything up.  So he steps in and tells these capt's, with 20 yrs experience, how there messing everything up, and he saves the day.  


One of the capt's on the board asks him if he didn't think maybe the capt's were just doing it a different way. He responded that they were just "city firefighters" and were just not smart at wild land firefighting.  The capt then looks him in the eye and says, "I'm the capt you were talking to at that fire".  The firefighter candidate then began a tap dance and moonwalk, and died that slow death we all fear in an interview.

If you are planning on being a firefighter in the city, county, or state in which you live, understand this: If you are in a related field, volunteer firefighter, E.M.T., paramedic, nurse, seasonal forestry firefighter, We in the fire service will know who you are and what you've done in your past.  I've heard stories and rumors for dept's 250 miles away.  Firefighters are worse than a bunch of old washwomen, when it comes to gossiping.

When people come out of our four-month training academy, they are shocked to learn we know who they are and every mistake they made.

Be kind and curious, and understand that the reputation you get now will follow you for you’re who career.  When I was in the firefighter 1 academy in college, I had a curly perm, shaved the sides of my head, and dyed it red.  I was then given the nickname of poodle.  That was in another county almost 20 years ago.  People still call poodle sometimes and they don't even know why, I now have short straight hair.

Just some food for thought, I thought I'd share with you.


Rob is Captain Bob's Son.  He works for Contra Costa fire department. He does all the entry level coaching by phone nationwide.  You can contact him direct with your questions or set up a coaching appointment @ 707-869-1330.  or e-mail @ nrtc@sonic.net

Ask Rob Any Question

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